Cefpodoxime proxetil is an oral antibiotic for veterinary and human use. In the United States, the antibiotic is market under the brand name Vantin for human use and Simplicef for dogs. Zoetis, a division of Pfizer, manufactures Simplicef. Approved for animal use in 2005, it is a third generation cephalosporin, meaning it has a large spectrum of action against bacteria. Cefpodoxime has limited side effects in dogs, generally related to gastrointestinal signs.
Simplicef Side Effects
Simplicef can cause allergic reactions in pets sensitive to penicillin or other cephalosporin antibiotics. The medication has not been studied in pregnant, breeding or lactating females. Gastrointestinal side effects reported include vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. According to the Zoetis data on Simplicef, fewer than 2 percent of pets studied suffered from vomiting, and even fewer showed other signs such as diarrhea.
Simplicef was studied at 10 times the maximum dose in adults and puppies, with no adverse reactions seen. Puppies were as young as 18 days old, which indicates that the normal dosage used in dogs is generally safe for puppies and adults. High doses of cephalosporins have been linked to blood cell disorders, such as decreased white blood cell production.
Cefpodoxime proxetil undergoes changes in the stomach to become the active form, cefpodoxime. The medication can be given on a full or empty stomach, but giving it with food is recommended if your pet shows gastrointestinal side effects. Substances that alter the acidity of your dog’s stomach, including antacids and some drugs, can decrease the effectiveness of cefpodoxime.
Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.